Category: Politics

Developments in the ongoing Bedroom Tax saga

You have to admire Andrew George. Or at least I do. Commentators are busying themselves accusing the Liberal Democrats of inconstancy or hypocrisy in supporting his Private Members’ Bill to reform the Bedroom Tax. But we should remember that George has ploughed a rather lonely furrow in consistent […]

Tax off for good behaviour

Over the weekend the CIH and the Resolution Foundation released a useful briefing called More than a roof. The focus is largely on the way in which financial incentives could be used to improve standards in the private rented sector. The briefing provides a brief overview of the […]

Shredded, the RBS saga and banking reform

I’ve just finishing reading Ian Fraser’s Shredded. I started it when I was up in Edinburgh last month, appropriately enough. But other things intervened and it was only over the bank holiday weekend that I got the time to sit down and read the second half. The book tells […]

Do political parties make any difference?

To the politically obsessed this might seem like an odd question. Of course political parties matter. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who take a more jaundiced view of politics: they’d argue that “they’re all as bad as each other” and it doesn’t matter who […]

The miraculous power of welfare reform

The international news is pretty grim at the moment. This doesn’t really fit well with the traditional idea that we’re in silly season, when Prime Ministers travel to holiday destinations to point at fish. Yet something that fits entirely comfortably with silly season is another self-justificatory speech by […]

Borismania

I can sort of see the appeal. But, then again, I really can’t. Is Boris the saviour of the Conservative party? Back at the beginning of last year I saw him give an after dinner speech. At one point he was stood within two metres of me, but […]

Liberal Democrat travails over the bedroom tax

Well, well, well. It turns out that the bedroom tax isn’t such a good idea after all. Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander have U-turned on the policy, ostensibly in the light of the (delayed) publication of interim report of the DWP evaluation. The report indicates that the policy […]

Are Mandarins the problem?

The relationship between politicians and civil servants is back in the spotlight. Janan Ganesh in the FT, for example, has argued that civil servants need to be brought to heel more effectively by their political masters. Cries of ‘politicisation’, whenever the prized independence of the civil service is […]